my end of the deal

I’m doing an isolation journal prompt series and welcome you to join! I’m only sharing responses to prompts that feel acceptable enough to share (don’t involve others for example).

Random Aside

In full disclosure, I’m behind on these prompts after a chaotic end of the week with work. I feel a gnawing sense that I need to give each prompt my undivided attention and time but I simply can’t do that. It’s not sustainable. I don’t want to miss out on the new thoughts that comes from thinking about new things. I’m compromising–I shall still respond to each but I will do so simply. My 8th grade English teacher who long admonished me about rambling sentences would be proud I finally discovered straightforward language. Meanwhile, my soul winces a tiny bit :). There’s always more to say.

Prompt: 

Write a letter to your younger self. Thank them, praise them, scold them, comfort them—engage in whatever way you feel led with one or many versions of your younger self. Whatever comes to mind. 

Now, let’s shift to exploring your older self. What would you want to say? To ask? To request? Tell your older self what you are doing now in service of them. Tell them what the ideal situation might look like when you finally meet—where might you be living, what type of work might you be doing, who you might be spending time and space with.

To my very young self, I wish I could scoop you up and give you a hug. I wish I could teach you how to cope and to whisper kind words in your ear when the anxiety gets to be too much. I wish I could give you perspective to ease the pressure you feel all around you. Let’s go for a walk and give each other safety. Let’s explore what calmness feels like — I want you to know it at an early age.

To my less younger self, thank you for holding on. You’re doing so much right even when it all feels wrong and painful: asking questions, staying open, wanting to connect with others, working hard, seeking truth, being a constant for loved ones, taking time to reflect. You get made fun of for much of it but it’s because it’s easy for people your age to prey on vulnerabilities especially those they wish they had. You’re so much braver than you realize. What you don’t know is that years later, you’ll fall back to the foundation you’re building right now. Keep building. Stay soft. But… remember that you matter and that healthy boundaries can exist. Those who love you most should embrace your boundaries rather than seek to tear them down. Be a slow burn rather than a quick flame. Oh and p.s. you’re very queer and it’s very much okay.

To my older self, I’ve worked hard for you especially over the last year. I’m in therapy and am working to change my relationships with many things in my life including people and habits. I have my finances in order while still finding epic ways to enjoy my life and leave you with lovely memories. I’m intentionally building a community of people that I know you’ll appreciate. I’m sorry about all of the photos– I can’t promise that those will slow down.

I hope your soul feels so full. I hope the meditation habit sticks. If you’re back on the caffeine drip, please stop and go take a nap or go for a walk. I hope you have some semblance of fuck you money so you feel security and can help others in your life feel it too. When was the last time you took photos? Go take some right now. I don’t see a large gap between us. My asks around meditation and caffeine reflect more of my own personal shift in my present self than anything else. I imagine us meeting nestled next to some mountains somewhere in this country. I imagine the intensity I have now is still very much alive but exists next to robust calmness that you’ve learned over the years. I’m excited to see what that combination looks like for you. I promise to hold up my end of the deal to get us there.

2 Comments

  1. Bryan Wagner

    Thank you for this. I find myself in a place, after so much suffering, of finally liking me. I honor all those who were there to support me. I think I finally understand that I am not just my thoughts and life has more to offer than what I think.

    1. Anne McCarthy

      That’s an absolutely amazing place to land. Congrats. It sounds very hard fought and well deserved. I forget often how little I know about life at large and how what it has to offer will always evolve. I offer you one of my favorite quotes: “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.”

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